Photo recommendations and best practices

Photos help tell the authentic, compelling story of your hotel or vacation rental listing. They’re also one of the primary ways people learn about your property on Google, and they play a critical role in whether travelers decide to book. Your photos shouldn’t just be visually appealing. They should represent your property accurately, showcase what makes it unique, communicate its values and culture, and give travelers all the practical information they need to know.

This article covers recommendations and best practices for including photos of your property and amenities that give people an immersive look at your space and make it attractive to travelers.

On this page


Why photo quality matters

Great photos are critical for success on Google and beyond:

  • Great photos can lead to more clicks: Photos are often the first thing people notice when they’re scrolling through lodging profiles on Google. Catch their attention by including great photos of your property’s attributes and features.
  • Great photos can save you time: Photography can tell people about everything from the accessibility features available to the mood at your property. This means you can spend less time answering questions and more time running your business.
  • Great photos can get you more bookings: The ultimate outcome of great photos? People get the information and inspiration they need to book with you.

Photo requirements

Use the best quality images you can to highlight your listing and attract travelers to book. Keep these basic requirements in mind when you provide your photos to Google:

  • Recommended resolution: 2048 x 1366 px
  • Minimum resolution: 1024 x 683 px
  • Maximum file size: 10 MB
  • Accepted file formats: JPG, JPEG, and PNG
  • Orientation: Landscape
  • (VR only) Vacation rentals must include a minimum of 8 total photos with at least 1 photo per room.

Best practices

This section outlines the best practices for providing Google with high-quality photographs of your property.

Staging

Clean and arrange your space so it looks its best on camera.

A concept illustration displaying how to stage a photo by cleaning and decluttering. A concept illustration displaying how to stage a photo by using natural lighting. A concept illustration displaying how to stage a photo by adding finishing touches. A concept illustration displaying how to stage a photo by making adjustments for shooting.
Clean and declutter. Use natural lighting.
Take photos during the day, opening curtains and blinds for natural lighting and turning on lights and lamps.
Put on finishing touches. Make adjustments while shooting.
Tip: Keep photos up-to-date. Retake photos if you renovate or redecorate. Your photos should always be up-to-date so you can set the right expectations with potential guests.

Composition

Give people a clear understanding of the space and its important features.

A concept illustration displaying how to compose a photo by shooting from a corner. A concept illustration displaying how to compose a photo by taking photos horizontally. A concept illustration displaying how to compose a photo by showing important details. A concept illustration displaying how to compose a photo by avoiding extreme close-ups.

Shoot from a corner. This will showcase the whole room and add perspective and depth to your photos.

Take most photos horizontally with a wide field of view. Show important details. Avoid extreme close-ups.

People

Know when and how to include people.

A concept illustration displaying how to present people in communal spaces when taking photos. A concept illustration displaying how to be mindful of people's diversity when taking photos. A concept illustration displaying how to take candid shots of people.
Only show people in communal spaces. Be mindful of diversity. Take candid shots.

Brightness

Get brightness just right so photos look natural and details are clear.

A concept illustration informing users to avoid using brightness that washes out the details. A concept illustration informing users to use enough brightness for low-light images. A concept illustration informing users to avoid using HDR effects when taking photos.
While it’s great to have bright photos and videos, don’t use content where brightness washes out the details. Make sure nighttime or low-light images are bright enough to show lighter tones and detail.  Don’t use HDR effects.

Cropping and orientation

Make sure photos have clean lines, well-ordered visual elements, and no distortion.

A concept illustration demonstrating how to use standard crop ratios. A concept illustration informing users to avoid cropping photos tightly. A concept illustration demonstrating how to make lines straight when taking photos. A concept illustration informing users to avoid skewing sketch or distorting photos.
Use standard crop ratios. Don’t crop too tightly. Make lines straight. Don’t skew, stretch, or distort.

Collaging and composing

Keep photos simple and straightforward.

A concept illustration informing users to avoid removing visual elements or adding unreal elements when editing photos. A concept illustration informing users to avoid making collages when editing photos. A concept illustration informing users to keep the real background when editing photos. A concept illustration guiding users to avoid adding graphics when editing photos.
Don’t remove visual elements or add elements that aren’t real. Don’t make collages. Keep the real background. Remember, accuracy takes priority over aesthetics.

Don’t add graphics.

Sharpness

Ensure photos look clear and crisp.

Our minimum photo quality requirement is 1024 x 683 px, but we recommend 2048 x 1366 px to ensure the best photo quality for potential customers.

A concept illustration instructing users to use the sharpest version when choosing for a photo. A concept illustration instructing users to avoid over-sharpening photos when post-editing.
Use the sharpest version. Don’t over-sharpen photos post edit.

Color and saturation

Make colors look vibrant yet realistic.

A concept illustration instructing users to avoid oversaturation when post-editing photos. A concept illustration instructing users to avoid using dramatic filters when post-editing photos. A concept illustration instructing users to avoid making colors too warm when post-editing photos. A concept illustration instructing users to avoid making colors too cold when post-editing photos.
Avoid oversaturation. Don't use dramatic filters. Don’t make colors too warm or cold.

Getting the major shots

Capture the top things travelers want to know.

A concept illustration displaying how to take full room photos. A concept illustration displaying how to capture rooms in the unit from multiple angles. A concept illustration displaying how to give a full view of the bed when taking photos.
Include a full-room photo of every room in the unit. Capture major rooms in the unit from multiple angles. This helps your potential guests better assess accessibility. Give a full view of the bed. Photos taken directly in front of the bed (including the floor and sides of the bed) or photos from the side of the bed (including the floor).
 
A concept illustration displaying how to capture in-unit amenities when taking photos. A concept illustration displaying how to avoid closeup shots of toiletries or appliances that show clear branding. A concept illustration displaying how to capture major rooms in the unit from multiple angles that will help guests assess accessibility. A concept illustration displaying how to document every unit type when taking photos.
Capture in-unit amenities either in your full-room photos or in additional photos to highlight them. Try to avoid close-up shots of toiletries and appliances that show clear branding. Capture major rooms in the unit from multiple angles. This helps your potential guests better assess accessibility. Document every unit type.
 
A concept illustration displaying how to showcase relevant communal amenities when taking photos. A concept illustration displaying how to capture the hotel's exterior when taking photos. A concept illustration displaying how to communicate your values when taking photos. A concept illustration displaying how to highlight architectural features when taking photos.
Showcase communal amenities, including your pool, sauna, golf course, lazy river, private beach, or otherwise outstanding amenities. Capture the exterior. Be sure to feature seasonal photos. Showcase how the seasons can transform the feel of your property. Showcase any restaurants within your property. Note that this may not apply to vacation rental listings. Highlight architectural features, furniture, and decor.

Prioritizing accessibility

Make sure guests with accessibility needs know what to expect.

A concept illustration displaying how to capture the floor and transition between rooms. A concept illustration displaying how to document accessibility features thoroughly.

Capture the floor and transition between rooms.

Try to include the floor in most of your photos, and capture any steps or other elevation changes. Provide straight-on views of hallways and doorways as well.

Be sure to document the entrances and exits to your property, especially for vacation rental listings.

Document accessibility features thoroughly.

Capture wide and close-up shots of accessibility features in your units, interior and exterior. That way, people can understand their positioning and get a look at the details.

Tip: As an additional option, provide photos with measurements of door widths, bed height, and any thresholds annotated or superimposed onto the image. This is valuable information for accessibility.

Capturing your space authentically

Tell the story of your hotel in a personal and human way.

A concept illustration displaying how to show how the space feels when taking photos. A concept illustration displaying how to communicate your values when taking photos. A concept illustration displaying how to tell the story of your history when taking photos.
Show how the space feels. Communicate your values. Tell the story of your history and culture.

Smartphone photo tips

While professional photos are recommended for quality, property owners can still take great photos with their smartphones. Here are some best practices for taking the best quality photos of your property with a smartphone camera:

  • Capture your photos in a bright, naturally lit setting. Open curtains and avoid using your flash, if possible.
  • Use a wide-angle lens setting. Don’t use fisheye or panoramic settings.
  • Keep your phone straight and parallel to the floor. Try to take your photos from around hip height.
  • Move closer to the subject instead of zooming in. Zooming in can result in a drop in quality.

Vacation rentals must include a minimum of 8 total photos with at least 1 photo per room. Remember that the photos you send Google are the ones that are shown to travelers as there’s no additional cache of images for your property, so the more photos you submit, the better.

Checklist

Here’s a quick look at what you should capture, and how you should capture it, to give travelers all the information they need.

Requirements and recommendations

  • Clean and declutter.
  • Use natural lighting.
  • Put on finishing touches.
  • Make adjustments while shooting.
  • Shoot from a corner.
  • Take most photos horizontally.
  • Show important details.
  • Avoid extreme close-ups.
  • Only show people in communal spaces.
  • Be mindful of diversity.
  • Take candid shots.
  • Get brightness just right so photos look natural and details are clear.
  • Make sure photos have clean lines, well-ordered visual elements, and no distortion.
  • Ensure photos are up-to-date.

Documenting your space

  • Take a full room photo of every room in the unit, including a photo of the:
    • Bedroom from one corner, toward the window (with a view from the room visible)
    • Bedroom from another corner, away from the window
    • Bed, captured from directly in front of the bed, that includes the floor and sides of the bed
    • Bed, captured from the side of the bed, that includes the floor
    • Bathroom that captures bathing fixtures, the toilet, sink, and floor
    • (If applicable) Room showing the balcony, patio, or terrace
  • Make sure to capture:
    • Multiple angles of major rooms
    • A full view of the bed
    • In-unit amenities
    • Architectural details, furniture, and decor
    • Communal amenities (if relevant)
    • The exterior
    • Transitions between rooms
    • Accessibility features (if relevant)
  • Show how the space feels.
  • Communicate your values.
  • Tell the story of your history and culture.

Was this helpful?

How can we improve it?
Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
18283849252408389850
true
Search Help Center
true
true
true
true
true
81426